Opinion/Editorials

Opinion/Editorials

The public may never get the whole sordid story on the California Coastal Commission’s firing last week of its executive director, but it’s not too late to insist that the powerful land-use board – and the consultants who make millions lobbying its members – be subjected to future transparency.

The Coastal Commission, which was created shortly before the state’s 1974 Political Reform Act, isn’t explicitly included in state laws covering lobbying disclosures. Why not? That’s another mystery in what seems to be a whole stretch of murky commission waters.

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Opinion/Editorials

Sacramento — Opponents of the recent ouster of the California Coastal Commission's executive director Charles Lester remain sure his removal was the result of influence by developers who want more sway on building projects along the state's coastline – and not the result of more mundane management issues, as pro-ouster commissioners argued.

The commission's behind-closed-doors vote last week – and lack of a forthright explanation – reinforced the worst fears of Lester's defenders, even though they haven't provided much evidence to back their view, either. Nevertheless, legislators jumped into the fray on Tuesday with a bill designed to spotlight developer influence on the commission.

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Opinion/Editorials

Online fantasy sports gambling has become a high-profile, high-stakes business.

Many states are questioning whether these pay-to-play games amount to illegal gambling.

In our state, Assemblyman Marc Levine has led that charge and says the industry should go to the voters and get their approval, as was done by the state to start the lottery, or as Indian tribes did in 2000 to allow casino gambling.

In fact, Levine was the only Assembly member to vote against a bill aimed at regulating online fantasy sports gambling. He did so even after the industry unloaded radio attack ads against him.

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Opinion/Editorials

For all their fancy lawyers and consultants, the unwise guys running the daily fantasy sports racket are showing themselves to be a sketchy bunch playing at the far edge of legality, if not illegality.

To dress themselves up as legit, the East Coast-based FanDuel and DraftKings hired renowned constitutional lawyer David Boies and former Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley.

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Opinion/Editorials

Fix freeways instead of building an empire

I have been traveling so I am catching up on my IJ reading. Interesting. The issues that keep popping up in the IJ are the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge and biking.

It appears Metropolitan Transportation Commission czar Steve Heminger has continued to ignore common sense, on his way to empire building. And the bicycle coalition outmaneuvers motorists.

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Opinion/Editorials

Ross Valley flood planners could have done better

Surely another site can be found for the emergency flood detention basin in Fairfax, other than the White Hill Middle School field.

It seems crazy that this field, Lefty Gomez Field, where school kids can be seen playing and doing P.E. every day — children and adults can be seen playing sports on weekends — was ever considered for such a project.

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Opinion/Editorials

Assemblyman Marc Levine may not have contacted the bureaucrats in charge of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, but he certainly has his finger on the pulse of the people who elected him.

Many of the residents of the nine counties of the Bay Area are sick and tired of being told how we are going to live in the future and being directed to obey the MTC in their push to urbanize the area to their specifications.

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Opinion/Editorials

Gambling laws in California can be as hard to follow as the dice bouncing around a craps table. It's anybody's guess which game might be legal or illegal next.

Betting on horse races is permitted, but betting on other sports is prohibited. You can play the state lottery, but you can't hold a bingo game -- unless it's a charity event. Card games are OK if, as in poker, the competition is among players, but not if, as in blackjack, it's players vs. the house. (More complication: Online poker is banned.)

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Opinion/Editorials

The Sonoma-Marin Narrows, a four-lane stretch of traffic-prone Highway 101, lies at the northern, sparsely-inhabited fringe of Marin County. Marin transportation officials have prioritized the densely populated southern end of the county for transportation projects.

In 2004, Sonoma County voters passed the Measure M sales tax to help pay for highway widening. Construction started in Santa Rosa, going north to Windsor and south to the northern edge of Petaluma before the borrowing capacity of Measure M ran out.

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Opinion/Editorials

Gambling laws in California can be as hard to follow as the dice bouncing around a craps table. It's anybody's guess which game might be legal or illegal next.

Betting on horse races is permitted, but betting on other sports is prohibited. You can play the state lottery, but you can't hold a bingo game — unless it's a charity event. Card games are OK if, as in poker, the competition is among players, but not if, as in blackjack, it's players vs. the house. (More complication: Online poker is banned.) Then there are the games that are illegal only in Native American-owned casinos. Craps? Illegal everywhere.

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